Tuesday, March 02, 2010

February? Done.

I can't quite believe we're racing into March - February just flew by! Because of my stepback weeks (x2) my mileage for the month was not off the charts - 136M - but the monster month is upon me so I think I'll be glad for any rest my legs have had.

Quick summary. The flu went by Tuesday and Wednesday last week I headed out for my first run (7M with 8x100m strides). This went fine but Thursday's 11 miler with 7M at 15K / hm pace did not go so well. I felt like I was losing my lungs and my cold had definitely not left my chest. I managed the pace (7:52 min/mile average) but not without two stops. It felt like a fail, though I knew it wasn't. Now I know most of you are pretty similar - we tell ourselves it's okay to miss the occasional workout but secretly we beat ourselves up over it. Am I right or is it just me? So I was feeling very slack because, although I had not done too badly in the weeks before being ill, I also hadn't quite done everything Pfitz had prescribed. And being a drama queen, if I miss too many workouts I turn it into a personality issue - i.e missing the workouts or not doing them right shows that I am the loser / incompetent / fat slug etc. which I secretly know I am. I know I know. It's really ridiculous. So. I was determined that, despite having missed 2 days of the week due to training, I was going to get at least 50M of the prescribed 55 in this week and that I was going to kick ass on my 20 miler.

Friday dawned and it was pouring with rain. Cold rain. And it was windy. But I was going to kick ass, remember? So after dropping my son off at school I parked in my little spot and set out on the 9 mile loop I was going to extend and do twice. My mile 3 I was soaked to the bone. I was wearing my parka, not my running jacket, but even this proved incapable of protecting me from the horizontal rain which occasionally, for the fun of it, turned to sleet. On I trudged, listening to podcasts and music. There were very few motorists out on the road as it was such awful weather and the ones who were out looked disbelievingly at me as they splashed me driving past. At mile 11.5 I stopped at the car to refill my water bottles (yes, amazingly, I was still thirsty) and peeling off my soaking gloves to do this and then putting them back on took such a mental push. At mile 15 I was overtaken and splashed by someone I know - I recognised him but he, thankfully, did not recognise me. I did not look human anymore by this stage. My hands were freezing and my feet were numb, I tripped over them twice in the last mile, but I brought the run in. 20 miles in 2:59 in probably the worst conditions I have ever done a long run in. Garmin autopaused for potty-breaks but that was it. I can't tell you how happy I was to get it done. Having wondered whether I was perhaps a loser / incompetent / fat slug I now felt like a rock star / superstar / elite athlete. You can see that moderation is not my strong suit.
me at mile 3 - you can see the wind blowing my hood up but i'm still smiling. haha! 3 miles into a 20miler you have NO idea!
The rest of the weekend went by very quickly with various family commitments - I managed 12 miles over the next 2 days but without any style or speed - the 20 miler had knackered me out.
So - 7 weeks to go yesterday! I don't know how I feel about the race yet, really. I don't think I am faster than I was in training for London, but I am better at getting the paces and I think I am stronger. I can last longer, I think. I've got another race coming up in 3 weeks, the Ashby 20 miler, which I ran last year with my friend Michael and we will be doing it together again. It's a very hilly race, so once again I can practise my race strategy of going out slightly slower and speeding up as I go along. Let's see if it works!

Otherwise, it's another high mileage week for me. I started off with a 29 mile bikeride yesterday. My new bikeseat has not arrived yet and my padded cycling shorts do not provide enough insulation. I am in pain. I am meant to be doing an 8-15K tune up race this weekend according to Pfitz, but that's not going to happen this weekend. Too much going on my friend! I shall just head out and run my own 10K race and see how I go. Bearing in mind I hate 10Ks.

Hope everyone's running and life is going well - things here are still pretty up and down and I am really working hard at trying to let things go and not getting too hurt and upset. Without my running there wouldn't be a hope of getting through the weeks without meltdowns. But I have my running, (and some pretty incredible friends) so all is dealable with.Happy trails everyone!

18 comments:

Lybbe said...

You're my hero Petra. To run 20 miles in those conditions takes a lot more than physical ability. You are going to OWN Boston!

Runner Susan said...

20 miles in 2:59 is fantastic!! Especially in those conditions. My monster month is upon me as well, luckily I'm not following Pfitz, that is one tough plan. Is that how you got so fast?

Susan said...

You are AMAZING! Wow - what conditions - and you rocked it. I am so impressed! And that Pfitz is hardcore.

Guess who is thinking about Chicago 2010!?

Road Warrior said...

Oh, you're definitely a rock star. No doubt about that. It's funny: I hate going out in the terrible weather but I always feel like I can conquer the world when I get back in.

Also, I like how your bad mileage weeks are my stretch mileage weeks (during prime training season).

Marathon Maritza said...

Wow! I will never complain about a long run again, those conditions sound terrible!

Congratulations on a fabulous 20 miler, way to soldier on and rule the road! So proud of you!

Drusy said...

One tough cookie! With full rights to be pretty smug about the weather we normal mortals complain about. Seriously, you're incredible! Just be careful to not drive yourself too hard!

aron said...

NICE job pounding out those 20 miles in NOT GOOD conditions!!! you are doing great with your training lady - dont be so hard on yourself :)

jen said...

You have no idea how similar my thoughts are to yours! I'm a pro at negativity and self-deprication, and it's a big job to fight it. You really are amazing and I hope that even when you have negative thoughts you can quickly remind yourself what a wonderful, beautiful, strong athlete you are. As evidenced by this 20 miler! You're sick!! I love it!! Good luck with your continued training! :)

ShirleyPerly said...

First of all, I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better. I used to beat myself up a lot about missing workouts but with a coach now telling me to take time off if I'm sick I no longer do so. I am my own worst enemy at times!!

And, yes, to run 20 miles in those conditions, you should feel like a ROCK STAR because you are. Well done, my friend. I hope that new bike seat arrives soon!

Meg said...

I loved this post, Petra. I think I would have had a melt down in that freezing rain but you pulled it together. Like you, my 18 miler a couple of weeks ago killed me for the whole week and I was so tired! Anyway, I'm not going to let these next 7 weeks of training rule my life...I need to let the training keep me sane(like you said!)and normal! I can't wait to hear about your hilly 20 miler...sounds like perfect timing. I'm so happy you're feeling better, girl!
Hugs,
meg

Irish Blue said...

Wow, that sounds really nasty. I hate nasty on a long day, but you plugged away and you are not a slug...omg...far from it lady.

You are amazing, as the others have said. So, give yourself a break, k?

Emily said...

Great work on all of the running and powering through. You are going to rock it! We need to discuss plans for meeting up in Beantown soon. I need to hit you back with an email as well.

eedo

Tara said...

you are a certified ROCKSTAR for running 20 in those conditions! dont be so hard on yourself lady! You're doing the best you can and are a great athlete! Keep up the great work :)

kristintarr said...

I don't think I would have run 2 miles in those conditions, I can't believe you did 20, that is awesome!

And don't worry, I'll be posting lots more info on the relay :)

marty said...

less of the 'fat slug' and replace with 'woman recovering from illness'. based on those terms i'd say you are in good shape. to pull off a 20-miler in such conditions says it all. it ain't easy at the moment - all this dedication WILL pay dividends..

MarathonChris said...

What can I say that someone else hasn't said...you really rock.

I would be happy with 20 miles in 2:59 on a good day :-)

You are truly an inspiration!

brett said...

Grate subject I have just share my views from top to bottom as I see them.
I feel this is a good simply because it’s consistent with how the user is used to seeing the comment form and filling out information in general. Filling out the name and email wont take me much time, and if you really wanted to go ahead and type the comment first, you can do so, not really that big of a work around. I’m
meditate home

lizzie lee said...

20 miles in 2:59 ???? Are you kidding? Super Star, Queen of the Heartbreak HILL!!!

Yes, you are not the only one. We are hard with ourselves, then our friends help us to see reality, we take it, we understand it, and following week we are ranting again. Maybe is the nature of our own beast. Petra you are doing so well. I feel you stronger too!!!!!!